Monday, August 23, 2010

Little Bugger, Big Problem

This an image that is credited to the U.S.D.A. It reveals a forest in East Texas that is suffering from the Southern Pine Bark Beetle.
When trees are stressed they become susceptible to attack. This has become a problem in our urban areas as well. In the last couple of years, Houston has lost thousands of pines. This becomes most noticeable after times of drought, a tree will practically die over night it seems.
If you notice yellowing needles on your trees an arborist must be called in and immediate action must be taken by spraying and deep root feeding. Most of all, keep your trees healthy and watered during drought conditions and this can be avoided.


What is it?

This summer Julian and I discovered this curiosity on an outside wall of our house. I've never seen a mud dobber's nest like this one before. It reminded us of a patch work quilt. It measures 5"x2" and is completely sealed up. We've yet to see anything emerge from this little natural wonder.


Sunday, August 22, 2010

Another Corpse

A few weeks ago at the Houston Museum of Natural Science we were able to witness the opening of one of the World's largest flowering plant species, Amorphophallus Titanum. The bloom of "Lois" raked in tens of thousands of extra dollars for the museum as curious spectators visited time and time again waiting for it to finally open on July 23rd, 2010. Like the Rafflesia, the Amorphophallus emits a putrid, deathly odor in order to attract its pollinator. As you can see, this one topped out at around 6 feet tall!